Rolls-Royce announcement reinforces Bristol as the engine for UK composites

18 March 2015

The National Composites Centre (NCC) is delighted that Rolls-Royce has chosen Bristol as the location for their centre of advanced fan system composites technology development.

Rolls-Royce is a Tier 1 Member of the NCC and has been for over three years. The processes used in their CTi manufacturing technology capability on the Isle of Wight composites facility were developed within Rolls-Royce and through work carried out at the National Composites Centre, Bristol. The development work on the Rolls-Royce CTi (carbon/titanium) blade manufacturing technology has led to their decision to locate the centre for advanced fan system composite technology development in Bristol.

The pre-production facility in Bristol will be developed within an existing building alongside Rolls-Royce’s new facility for carbon-fibre electrical harness rafts. Both facilities will benefit from manufacturing techniques being developed in partnership with the National Composites Centre in Bristol, and research being conducted at the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre at the University of Bristol.

Carbon-fibre composites are predominantly used in the aerospace industry to enable significant reduction in weight, leading to lower fuel consumption and reduced emissions. Rolls-Royce has been involved in developing carbon-fibre technologies for several decades and already uses the material for a number of parts within its aero engines. Innovative automated methods have been developed specifically for producing composite fan blades and fan casings.

The NCC will continue to provide technology development for Rolls-Royce and we look forward to further collaboration opportunities.

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